London: Former England striker Peter Crouch`s 90th minute goal saw Stoke grab a 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Sunday in a largely underwhelming Premier League clash.
Crouch`s header, his first goal in nine matches, cancelled out a fine strike by Jack Colback in the 74th minute, although the Newcastle midfielder was fortunate to still be on the pitch.
Having already been booked, Colback`s crunching tackle in the 71st minute went unpunished and he survived to fire the opening goal.
The draw sees Stoke, who have lost just one of their last nine games, stay 10th, one place and two points better off than the Magpies.
The first half offered little to rouse the 48,000 fans who piled in for the game and must have wished they had not bothered to tackle the freezing cold.
Neither side could muster much to test the opposing defences apart from Mame Diouf`s point-blank header being brilliantly saved in stoppage time by Dutch international goalkeeper Tim Krul.
His Stoke counterpart, Croatian international Asmir Begovic, also had one save to perform, denying French attacking midfielder Remy Cabella in the 11th minute.
Cabella, a summer signing from Montpellier, looked the most likely Newcastle player to break the deadlock but manager John Carver withdrew him in the 70th minute to be replaced by compatriot Gabriel Obertan though the fans didn`t take to it as it was greeted with a cacophony of boos.
But it proved to be an inspired change as Obertan, who has been out with a thigh injury for over three months, played a pivotal role in the goal that finally brought some life to the game.
He got down the right and his cross was laid off to Colback by Moussa Sissoko, with the midfielder firing in a superb shot to beat Begovic.
Stoke`s frustrating afternoon continued as Stephen Ireland thought he had grabbed a quick equaliser with a stunning effort but it was ruled out for offside.
Obertan should have wrapped up the three points with five minutes remaining but instead of shooting he opted to pass it once he had found himself space and with just Begovic to beat.
That error came back to bite the hosts as Geoff Cameron`s superlative cross from the right was met by Crouch and his looping header across Krul secured the point for the visitors.